In Memory of Dr. Edward Dugan, 1946-2021

Edward Dugan, Ph.D.

Edward T. Dugan, Ph.D., a University of Florida alumnus and Department of Materials Science & Engineering nuclear engineering professor emeritus, passed away on January 24th, 2021, at 74 years of age.

Dr. Dugan graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He attended UF for graduate school, earning a Masters in Nuclear Engineering Sciences in 1972 and his doctorate in 1976 under Nils Diaz, Ph.D. Dr. Dugan became a UF faculty member in 1977, beginning an illustrious 33-year academic career until retiring from teaching in June 2010.

After spending two years at Nucsafe, LLC in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Dr. Dugan’s passion for education led him back into the classroom, and he returned to the UF Nuclear Engineering Program in 2012 as Assistant Program Director.

Edward Dugan, Ph.D.
Edward Dugan, Ph.D., with a backscatter x-ray instrument.

During his tenure at UF, Dr. Dugan participated in research projects with national and international significance, including advanced reactor analysis, nuclear power plant dynamics and control, space nuclear power and propulsion and radiation transport. To prevent another Columbia shuttle disaster, NASA utilized his pioneering backscatter x-ray imaging technology to examine space shuttle foam for potentially deadly voids and other defects.

Dr. Dugan was a well-published author and co-author, held numerous patents and UF consistently recognized his teaching with multiple awards for Professor of the Year. Moreover, his dedication to and rapport with two generations of students has had a lasting impact on the graduates themselves and his fellow faculty members.

In 2019, the Edward T. Dugan American Nuclear Society Professional Excellence Award was established. It was created by nuclear engineering students at UF to honor Dr. Dugan’s unwavering commitment to students and their development both professionally and personally. His lasting impact is embodied through the students who receive support from this fund. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that memorial gifts be made in Dr. Dugan’s memory to the Edward T. Dugan American Nuclear Society Professional Excellence fund to continue this support of students.

The Department is collecting stories from students, colleagues and friends about their fondest memories of Dr. Dugan, which we plan to share with his family. Inquiries into these efforts can be made by contacting Sterling Garcia, the Director of Development, at or (352) 294-7953.